Benefits of Remote Video Surveillance
By: Shawn Scarlata
School is the one place every parent expects their child to be safe. Children in private schools expect the security even more because they are paying for their child to attend the school. Security is necessary, and there is no compromise.
Running a private school is not an easy task; it is just as challenging as running a large business. School administration understands how the school should run, and teachers understand education.
In most cases, neither of them have the experience or knowledge to develop a solid security plan. Because of this, all too often, many private schools leave much to be desired in the area of security.
Having multiple security guards on campus can be beneficial but may not be the best solution. The cost of multiple guards patrolling the property in most cases is prohibitive.
While professional security guards in uniform are a sign that security is in place, multiple guards may give off an image that the school is unsafe and therefore drive potential customers (parents) away. There is a way to beef up security that is not so intrusive and in many ways a great deal more effective.
Remote video surveillance has become popular and more effective as a security solution for private schools in the last few years. The technology has become more affordable and more versatile as schools begin to incorporate the technology as part of a holistic security plan. The children and staff at the school take top priority when it comes to security, and having the right solution in place is vital.
What are the benefits of implementing remote surveillance at a private school?
Busy corridors can be watched by school administrators or a dedicated remote monitoring team. Camera analytics can be used to detect "loitering" or congregating and send an alert to the appropriate personnel.
A quick check of the video that generated the alert may show an altercation or fight that's getting ready to take place. Teachers or other administrators close by can be contacted to intervene. The same alerts could show students skipping class or entering an area that is off limits.
In crowded areas, a remote surveillance system can be a tremendous tool. It is not as intrusive as security guards but able to focus on hot spots before they flare up and follow anyone anywhere on the school property.
The cameras are also beneficial in providing evidence after an incident has been reported. A mobile phone stolen or a punch thrown can easily be observed and culprits identified.
Monitoring of corridors can include the entrance to locker rooms and bathrooms. While watching the interiors of these areas is off limits, the cameras can be used to monitor who comes and goes from the rooms.
Unfortunately, bathrooms in schools are places where everything from bullying to substance abuse and petty vandalism occurs. Any concerning activity is immediately seen, and the relevant authority either a teacher or on-site security officer is notified.
Outside of school hours, at night and during school holidays, a remote surveillance system continues to work. Breaks-ins, vandalism and thefts from school premises cost each year. Much of the theft and damage can be avoided with a good security solution installed and managed by a security company that understands the big picture.
School parking lots are another area where remote security plays a role. Cars are damaged by accident and drivers drive off not saying anything in parking lots all over the world. Schools are no different; student and staff vehicles are damaged by accident or by vandalism all the time.
With a remote surveillance system, the parking area is carefully monitored. Specialized cameras can be installed that will document every license plate that enters/exits the lot 24 hours per day.
We've all seen the reports on the news that seem to come more and more often. An active aggressor goes on a rampage at a school, shopping center or church. It's the last thing we want to imagine happening at our school, but we must prepare. An effective video surveillance system can save lives when one of these incidents happens.
Once your system has been installed, the remote monitoring company should meet with local law enforcement. The purpose of the meeting is to make them aware of the technology you have installed and where they should send officers should one of these types of incidents occur.
An officer sitting in the remote monitoring center can communicate in real time with the police command post. This allows them to relay what they are watching on the school's video cameras.
Above all, a remote surveillance solution in a private school provides peace of mind to concerned parents. Parents who pay high fees expect security and a well-planned security strategy that takes student, staff, and visitor safety into consideration.
Systems are affordable, and when implemented using a professional security company, the highest level of safety and security is assured 24/7.
Shawn Scarlata is the founder and chief executive officer of SMART Security Pros, a provider of armed security services utilizing only active/retired/prior law enforcement officers, as well as Remote Guard Video Surveillance services, www.smartsecuritypros.com.